Wednesday, March 4, 2009

New President Means More Beat Cops Coming to NYC - Says Rep Weiner...

Adds Up to 3,500 Cops to City Streets to Fight Crime and Terrorism

Cops are a Proven Way to Cut Crime, Fight Terrorism,” Weiner Says

The new federal budget provides a big boost to crime fighting in New York City, Representative Anthony Weiner (D – Brooklyn and Queens), a member of the House Judiciary Committee and sponsor of the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program, said today.

The budget released this week provides funding for 50,000 new beat cops nationwide over the next two and a half years, at a total cost of $6.5 billion. The funding provides for up to 3,500 cops to New York City streets.

The funding is part of the COPS program, one of Rep. Weiner's signature issues.

This is a stark change from Bush's plan, which zeroed out the cutting-edge crime-fighting program for eight straight years.

Highlights of New COPS Funding

  • § Budgets for an additional 50,000 new beat cops for communities across the country
  • § Total cost over two and a half years is an estimated $6.5 billion nationwide
  • § Funding could place an estimated 3,500 new cops on city streets
  • § New funding for cops comes on top of the $1 billion for new hires included in the federal economic stimulus package. That funding provides an estimated 400 cops to city streets

Created in 1994 by President Clinton, the COPS program provides localities with a 3-year federal grant for the specific purpose of hiring new police officers. Localities are required to pick up 25% of the cost of the new hire each year and to keep the officer on staff for an additional year. Grants have provided localities with $9 billion since 1994 to hire 117,000 police officers nationwide, including nearly 7,000 in New York City.

The program has been enormously successful. Between 1998 and 2000, COPS hiring grants were responsible for reducing crimes by about 200,000 to 225,000 crimes - one third of which were violent, according to a 2005 Government Accountability Office report.

Rep. Weiner is a long-time champion of the COPS program, sponsoring its reauthorization each Congress for the last three years. The Judiciary Committee plans to consider Weiner's COPS bill in the next couple of months.

Rep. Weiner said, “Our safety challenges can't take a backseat to our economic ones. More cops mean less violent crimes and greater vigilance against terrorism. The COPS program is a proven winner, cutting crime and making neighborhoods safe in New York City.”